Newspaper article China Post

Unions Vent Displeasure on Labor Day

Newspaper article China Post

Unions Vent Displeasure on Labor Day

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: [...] denotes non-USASCII text omitted)

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Labor unions marched in front of the Legislative Yuan yesterday - Labor Day - to express their dissatisfaction over labor pension reforms and other labor-related policies.

In drizzling rain, roughly 20,000 workers from as many as 30 different unions gathered together in protest, unanimously demanding better benefits and higher pay.

According to the protesting labor groups, they demanded seven changes from the government - stop all adjustments to labor pension programs, systematize the minimum wage hike procedure, implement a collective policy-bargaining method between the government and labor groups, include stipends and retirement in government compensation, place foreign workers under the jurisdiction of the Labor Standards Act, pay equivalent wages to foreign and domestic workers, and terminate firms' flexible working hours policies.

The protesters complained that "flexible working hours" usually means over-time, since employers often hand out workloads that require more than eight hours of work per day.

The secretary-general of the Chinese Federation of Labor (CFL), Hu Kuo-kang ([...]), expressed concern over pension reform, which demands more premium payments from workers but offers smaller pensions.

"The government-operated labor insurance fund is fine, with a total of NT$480 billion currently. We suspect the government is asking for money from the workers to fill in the losses from the Farmer's Health Insurance Program and the Welfare Allowance Program," Hu said.

Insisting that the labor insurance funds were stable, Hu blasted the government for causing the people such anxiety when they announced that the funds were suffering losses. …

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